Sam Webb: Let’s just start off first with talking about how last season went for you.
Wyatt Cook: “Well, we started off rough. We started off our season playing some really good out of conference teams like Gonzaga, and St. Peters Prep from New Jersey, they were nationally ranked and we just had a tough year. We only had two seniors that started the whole year. My whole defense -- ten out of the eleven starters were sophomores, so it was rough. (Plus) we had a freshman quarterback, but after the first eight games, we pulled it together, made it to the semi-finals of our conference playoffs.”
Sam Webb: Ok, so how did you do individually?
Wyatt Cook: “I did alright. I’d say I did average. I could have done much better every game. I have to get to work on a lot of things on the off-season, and I’ll be back ready for next year.”
Sam Webb: Talk to me first about your game. What’s your height, your weight, and your 40 time?
Wyatt Cook: “My height is 6’2”; I’m about 230-lbs, and I haven’t actually ran a timed 40 at all. My first timed 40 will be June 1st when I go to the Penn State camp.”
Sam Webb: Linebacker position-wise, is there a particular linebacker spot you prefer?
Wyatt Cook: “I play middle linebacker."
Sam Webb: Ok, so kind of break down your game for me. Is there a player in college or the pros that you kind of emulate out there?
Wyatt Cook: “Well, my favorite player is, right now, probably Clay Matthews. My all time favorite is Lawrence Taylor or Tedy Bruschi, so when I prepare for a game, I try to watch as much film as I can to study the other defense. I’m not the fastest guy out there. I’m not slow, but I’m not the fastest guy, but I always know where to be, and I’m a downhill kind of player. I’m like a run stopper.”
Sam Webb: As far as recruiting goes, give me some of the schools that you’ve heard from thus far.
Sam Webb: Have you picked up any scholarship offers yet?
Wyatt Cook: “I have not.”
Sam Webb: What about Michigan? Kind of tell me what the conversations have been like with them so far.
Wyatt Cook: “They’ve been pretty good. I’ve been in contact with Coach Mallory, the secondary coach, and it’s been good. I’m going up June 17 for a camp, just a one-day camp, and Michigan and Penn State have always been my favorite top dream schools, and the fact that it’s actually starting to become a possibility is crazy, so I’m really excited.”
Sam Webb: Tell me about that. What was it about Michigan that made it one of your dream schools?
Wyatt Cook: “I don’t know, I’ve just always grown up a big Penn State fan and my family has always been Penn State fans. And for some reason I’ve just always liked the way Michigan plays. When I was little I fell in love with their uniforms and I just always kept up with them… just one of my favorite teams. I really like Coach Hoke, I like the defense, and I like the game atmosphere. It’s crazy up there.”
Sam Webb: I take it that the Penn State dream, that was born from your family’s allegiance to the Nittany Lions?
Wyatt Cook: “Yeah, that’s one of the family schools. Like, my father grew up in Altoona and Hollidaysburg, and he played college at Bloomsburg, which is a D2 school, and he just always – like my whole father’s side of the family just grew up loving Penn State, and I mean, I grew up loving them too, and I just also happen to like Michigan, their arch-rival.”
Sam Webb: So you’re going to go to the Penn State camp; you’re going to go to the Michigan camp. Do you have any other camps that you’re going to go to?
Wyatt Cook: “Yeah, I’m going to the Notre Dame camp. They invited me up there. And then I’m going to go to the Maryland camp like a week later after my other camps.”
Sam Webb: Have you actually visited any of these schools before?
Wyatt Cook: “I have not. I’ve visited Maryland a few times, just because it’s in the state, and I’m there a lot. I’m just around that atmosphere a lot.”
Sam Webb: Kind of look down the line for me and tell me what are going to be the biggest factors in that choice?
Wyatt Cook: “Of course, my mom, if she’ll let me go far away (laughter). The dream has always been to play in the Big Ten, and every camp I’m going to except the Notre Dame one is a Big Ten School, but you know, Notre Dame is in a league of its own. I don’t know, it’s going to be – I’m just so grateful that I can have these options. Hopefully I can perform at camps and get offers. That would be the goal.”
Sam Webb: Is there a time frame that you’d like to make a decision? Are you going to be a kid that wants to wait until after your senior season? Do you want to get it done before? How would you like for that to go?
Wyatt Cook: “That’s what me and my dad talk about a lot. He wants me to – once I get the right offer from the school I like, he wants me to commit, but I kind of want to wait until after my senior year to look at all my options, and really make the right choice.”